Legislators return to parliament today, issues to discuss include land

By Alice Lubwama

The parliament of Uganda resumes business today 6th after a one month recess.

While sending Members of Parliament for recess ,the deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya asked them to consult their voters on the issues affecting them and then report back to the house to take a decision.

The recess period has been an action packed one, with several incidences being reported in various communities including several reports of land evictions especially for Bibanja owners the recent being in  Lusanja Parish at Ssekanyonyi Zone, Nangabo Sub-County Wakiso District where over 70 families were evicted and 350 houses destroyed affecting over 550 people.

The speaker Kadaga also promised that she will prioritize the issue of land evictions as first business to be discussed by parliament to find a solution, saying she had also received a number of complaints
from Ugandans who have been evicted from their land with out any compensation.

In 2016  president Museveni appointed a commission of inquiry headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire to probe an array of issues pertaining to the land sector in Uganda.

The commission  was tasked to inquire into “ the effectiveness of the land law and process of land acquisition, land administration, management and land registration.”

NRM aspirants complain about postponing of party primaries

By Daudi Zirimala

The NRM parliamentary and LCV aspirants in seven new created districts are not happy with the lengthy party primaries which were postponed by the party after nomination of of candidates in the districts.

The districts include; Nabilatuk, Kapelebyong, Bugweri, Kwania, Kassanda and Kikuube.

According to Kapelebyong LCV Akorikin Francis the postponement has created a lot of confusion in the NRM electorate and at worst; there is fear that it’s going to give opposition elements an advantage in the final campaigns.

“We have come to Kampala to raise our voices to the party’s electoral commission that we shall not continue campaigning with out a clear road because the NRM candidates have spent a lot of money as a result of this recklessness”,says Akorikin Francis.

The NRM national Electoral commission nominated candidates to contest for position of party flag bearers for woman member of parliament and district LCV chairperson in July with elections to take place in August 2018, however as the campaigns started,the party electoral commission postponed elections to 14th August 2018,unfortunately as the polling date was approaching as scheduled,the party EC once more postponed the election until further notice.

However, the the NRM electoral commission chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi has assured the candidates that spoon the commission will secure funds to continue with the primaries as it was stated earlier in July.

“Those new districts we are going to have elections we are just waiting for funds because NRM party does not use government money we use our own funds but I hope next week we shall clarify on this”, says Tanga Odoi

Campaign to draft NRM party primaries election roadmap is on

By Daudi Zirimala

The NRM electoral Commission has embarked on a campaign to draft election road map for party primaries ahead of the 2021 general elections.

According to the Party Electoral Chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi, they will be meeting different stakeholders including Members of parliament, district leaders, the party executive among to review and plan the way for for the 2019 party primaries in preparation for the general election.

Odoi made the remarks while meeting the party district election officers at the commission’s headquarters Kyadondo. In the same meeting, he sounded a warning to district administrative secretaries against interfering with the work of the electoral commission.

“We are going to work with all the sister organs of the party and we shall ensure our independence as a commission because the constitution NRM is very clear that we are  answerable to CEC but we coordinate with the secretariat” said Odoi.

He said that no body has powers including the party chairman to interfere with the work of the electoral  commission because they are targeting to have free and fair elections for the party primaries and the NRM electoral commission has not registered any bribery complaint of their members at the districts.

Recently the Ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party released roadmap for party primaries for the Women Member of Parliament and Local Government Councils elections in the six newly created districts.
The districts include; Nabilatuk, Kapelebyong, Bugweri, Kwania, Kassanda and Kikuube.

Dr Tanga Odoi said they recently held consultative meetings in every district and embarked on the exercise of updating the voters’ registers but the Campaigns were halted due to lack of funds.

“Joint campaigns will be resumed and I would like to urge candidates and other stakeholders to maintain the current spirit of campaigning jointly and peacefully,” he said.

FDC reshuffles party leadership, Winnie Kizza dropped

By Patricia Osman
Opposition Forum for Democratic Change has reshuffled its leadership at Parliament, Betty Aol Ochan is now the Leader of Opposition replacing Winnie Kiiza.
Ssemujju Nganda has been maintained as the Chief Opposition Whip in Parliament and will be deputized by Hon Tonny Muhindo.
Buhweju county MP, Francis Mwijukye is now Commissioner of Parliament replacing Cecilia Ogwal of Dokolo.
Fungaroo Kaps Hassan is Committee Chairperson of Government Assurance while Nandala Mafabi chair Public Accounts Committee.
Hon Mubarak Munyagwa replaces Abdu Katuntu as the Chairperson of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE  deputized by Hon Moses Kasibante among others.

Justice Barishaki kicks off judgment on the age limit

By Sania Babirye
Justice Barishaki is delivering his judgement on the MPs extension of their term of office from five to seven years and that of local government councils.
He is quoting the a legislative history of Uganda and the Uganda Constitutional commission of 1995 report by  Prof.Sempebwa   for proper guide line.
He says he takes the recommendations into account for proper guidelines.
He states as a result public participation is very important for proper affairs of the country.
Sepebwa report explains that peoples  views on the enlargement of term of MPs and LG officials is an indirect way of holding office without consent and will  from people since the first contract was to hold office for only 5 yrs.
On the historical parliamentary chaos, he observes that these events rolled out because the members of parliament did not listen to the speaker as the head of the house.

Justice Barishaki further rules that the attorney general failed to adduce any evidence to prove that their was public participation   which is key to any constitutional amendment  since no referendum was held there by parliament exceeding its authority to extend  its term of office for more 2 years from five to seven.

He adds that parliament tried to evade the people’s powers and the amendment and its sections are null and void.
The extension was selfish and is against the principles of   good governance.
He adds that if it was dine in good faith it should have been made in the coming 2020 general elections.
Justice Cheborion has ruled that the speaker of parliament acted within the law  when she suspended the opposition MPs from the house and that if they had respected the speaker when she called the house to order the violence inflicted on them by military police would not have happened.
Justice Barishaki further rules that  even though Mps have a right to participate in each and every debate, the speaker had the  powers to throw out an  MP who conducts himself In manner that disrupts debate.
Mps had started throwing chairs and parliament staff had been injured, an MP had entered the chambers with a gun .therefore Cheborion rules that the involvement of army was justified since it was a state of emergency.
He says that the MPs engaged in misconduct and the military police had to be called in to assist the parliament security that had been overpowered by the rioting MPs at the invitation of the speaker.
He however says that the military police used excessive force and the process subjected the MPs to inhumane and degrading treatment.
He also rules that the Mps arrest and detention was uncalled for since the speaker only ordered that they be removed from the chambers of Parliament.
He rules that parliament was not besieged as alleged by the petitioners since the military police was only there at the invitation of the Sergent of arms  to contain the riot.
Judge says no evidence to show that the said directive or violence on the MPs affected country wide consultations which would lead to the nullification of entire bill.
On the private Members bill to be funded by government: Justice Barishaki has ruled that it did not have a financial implication on the consolidated fund  and that the bill was budget neutral.

He explained that it is not unconstitutional for a private members bill to be funded by government and just because it had the name Rapheal Magyezi  bill it did not make it a private bill .
Justice Barishaki has also explained that the 29 million shillings that was each given to MPs for consultation did not have a financial implication since the clerk of parliament testified that it had been budget for by parliament.

Opposition displeased with EC decision to leave civil servants out of LC elections

By Robert Segawa

The opposition Democratic party have expressed dismay over electoral commission’s move to halt all civil servants from participating in the forth coming local council election which they say, doesn’t only violates the laws of the country but also a sign of injustice.

While addressing the media  at the party headquarters  in Kampala, Nobert Mao the party president says that though the councils are important in national peace and security development but no to involve in civil servants who are to campaign on taxes of the nationals.

Mao has called upon all party members to get involved in the elections to over come what he called corrupt and fraudulent NRM cadres who have held these positions for almost 2 decades.
He says local council one letters are important in day to day daily activities , he asked Ugandans not to elect leaders who beat up their wives and those who cannot look after their families.

Vladimir Putin inaugurated for a forth term following 70% win in Russian elections

Vladimir Putin was sworn in for another six years as Russian president on Monday, buoyed by popular support but weighed down too by a costly confrontation with the West, a fragile economy and uncertainty about what happens when his term ends.

Standing in the ornately-decorated Andreyevsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, with his hand on a gold-embossed copy of the constitution, Putin swore to serve the Russian people, to safeguard rights and freedoms, and protect Russian sovereignty

Putin’s inauguration for a fourth term as Russian president came two months after more than 70 percent of voters backed him in an election in which he had no serious challengers.

His most dangerous opponent, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running and on Saturday Navalny and hundreds of his supporters were detained by police while protesting over Putin’s new term under the slogan: “Putin is not our tsar.”

 In a speech after the swearing-in ceremony, Putin said that in the next six years Russia would prove a strong, muscular player on the world stage, backed by a powerful military, while pushing hard to improve life for its citizens at home.

“Taking up this post, I feel a colossal sense of responsibility,” Putin told his audience of Russian officials and foreign dignitaries, among them former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

 

 

~Reuters

 

Lutaya released after he agreed to pay 35.5M in court

By Sania Babirye

The Jinja high court judge Eva Luswata has set free journalist  Simon Muyanga Lutaya after signing an agreement that he will pay the remaining 35.5 million shillings  in court costs  within a period of 12 months after court reduced his debt by 100, 000 thousand shillings.

Lutaya was this week  sentenced to six months at Kirinya prison after he failed to clear the 57 million shillings in costs after losing an election petition at the high court and court of appeal.
However his lawyers led by Erias Lukwago who secured a production warrant from the Jinja High court on Thrsday to have him produced in court today, have informed court that his political opponent who is NRMs  Kenneth Lubogo produced a video on social media denying to have ordered for his arrest.
It was later revealed that Lubogo’s former Lawyer Hassan Kamba  who is no longer representing him secured the warrant of arrest after Lutaya  failed to clear the total  costs by December 2017 after Lutaya managed to only pay six million shillings.
Meanwhile Lutaya’s team has also added another 4.5 million shillings that was collected from the public and will clear the remaining balance within a period of one year.
The judge  removed the ten million shillings from the initial 57 million  awarded saying it was unnecessarily added.
Lutaya dragged Lubogo to the high court after he lost the seat for member of parliament for Bulamogi constituency.
However he lost the election petition at the high court on the 19th of August 2016 and on the 22nd of November, the court of appeal dismissed his appeal and ordered him to pay costs at both courts to his rival.

Legislators join mobilization for signatures against new taxes

By Deo Wasswa

Hon. Mbwatekamwa Ggafa(Bwamba county),Hon. Sabiiti Denis(Rubanda west), Hon. Florence Namayanja(Bukoto east),  Honrable Baseka(Ntenjeru south) Fred,  Hon Ajilo Maria Goreth(Kaberamaido) and Honorable Semuli Anthony (Mubende municipality) are some of members of parliament who have signed the pledged book to oppose the new proposed  taxes  on mobile money.

The campaign which has been launched officially today at Hotel Africana seeks to collect 250 signatures from  members of parliament to reject this tax which is likely to affect a bigger percentage of Ugandans if it’s adopted by the government.

However , during the launch some Members of parliament have advised the proprietorship of the campaign, the civil society budget advocacy group to mobilize them selves and walk to parliament to convince other members of parliament to join the campaign.

Julius Muhinda, the national coordinator, Civil society budget advocacy group says they have started mobilizing Ugandans to out their members of parliament on pressure to reject this form of tax.
He says within two weeks,  they except to collect at least  100 signatures  from members of parliament.

FDC organizing parallel labor day celebrations in Njeru

By Robert Segawa

The opposition Forum for Democratic Change party has reminded government on prioritizing the formulation of laws that protect workers.

During a press conference at party headquarters Najjanankumbi the deputy party spokesperson Paul Mwiru said its a disappointment for government to celebrate labor day tomorrow yet it has no goodwill to improve on the conditions in which workers are operating.

Mwiru said its high time the minimum wage bill was passed to protect workers from exploitation. Byte

Forum for democratic change party is also organizing parallel labor celebrations at Njeru municipality in Buikwe district where they shall launch an alternative labor policy.

Mwiru said they can not celebrate with government because they have a different policy on addressing challenges faced by workers.